On his day, one of the best ball-strikers in the game who will not be scared to go head-to-head with Tiger Woods. Has missed much of the season because of the illness and subsequent death of his wife Heather.
2 of 12Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Produced the most consistent golf of his career this season, winning the China Open in November and the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in June.
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A consistent performer who divides his time between the U.S. and Europe. Registered his second PGA Tour victory in the U.S. at theHonda Classic in March.
4 of 12Andrew Redington/Getty Images
The charismatic Spaniard has registered a series of top-10 finishes on both sides of the Atlantic this year, including a share of fifth place in the British Open at Hoylake in July.
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One of Europe's top performers in recent years, Harrington made a slow start to 2006 before roaring back to form with six top-11 finishes in seven weeks in the middle of the season.
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The quiet, unassuming Howell rocketed to 13th in the world rankings last year after winning the BMW International Open in Munich and the Champions Tournament, outscoring playing partner Tiger Woods on the last day in Shanghai.
7 of 12Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Two titles in 2006 have made Karlsson Sweden's most prolific champion, surpassing the record of Anders Forsbrand. He took his victory tally to seven at the Players Championship of Europe.
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McGinley, who holed the winning putt in the 2002 Ryder Cup, has been woefully out of form since landing the prestigious Volvo Masters title in Valderrama last October.
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The linchpin of the team, the eight-time European No. 1 player has not had the best of seasons but is likely to raise his game at the K Club.
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Jose Maria Olazabal
The Spaniard with a brilliant short game and an excellent Ryder Cup record came close to capturing his third Masters earlier this year, finishing third behind winner Phil Mickelson.
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The big-hitting Swede came to the fore last year, finishing eighth on the order of merit. Among his best performances was a third place finish behind Tiger Woods and John Daly at the WGC-American Express Championship in San Francisco.
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Westwood has struggled to realise his early promise but has generally thrived in the Ryder Cup and picked up 4-1/2 points out of five in the last match. Has not won a European Tour tournament since, though.
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